In the fading halcyon days of 1978, there was a wonderful new item on the pre-Christmas toy market that I absolutely had to have. Milky the Cow was a plastic cow that you could actually feed water to and subsequently milk (note: Milky did not produce actual milk but came with tablets that turned the water into some sort of whitish liquid that was allegedly non-toxic but probably caused cancer in laboratory mice).
You may have guessed how this story ends.. I didn't get Milky the Cow for Christmas. I don't remember any of this- obviously it was such a traumatic experience that I have repressed the painful memories- but I'm sure I was devastated on Christmas morning to find the living room devoid of the one thing my heart was fixed on. I probably cried for days.
Either that or I forgot about Milky the Cow before Christmas even arrived and any lingering vestiges of bovine longing were wiped out the moment my greedy little eyes fell on the pile of presents under the Christmas tree.
For years, every time I alluded to the fact of my parents' poor child-raising skills warping my young mind and ruining my future life, my mom would stage a mock breakdown and "confess" that she had actually bought me the Milky the Cow I so desperately pined for that Christmas, hidden it away.. and had then reverted to her original opinion that Milky the Cow was the stupidest toy ever invented.
She decided then and there that she was not going to spend money on a creepy toy that would probably poison her child. Having come to this conclusion, she marched right back to the store and returned MY Milky the Cow before I ever saw it! My mother would profusely mock-apologize while lamenting that I would never be emotionally healthy, all because of her tragic mistake in returning Milky the Cow. I did not appreciate the intense humor my parents seemed to find in this display.
In any case, Milky the Cow became a shorthand in our family for parental blame. Bad grades in school? It's probably because you never got Milky the Cow. Obviously if my parents loved me they would have given me one. In the brief time this stellar toy was on the market (I believe about 1 (one) Christmas season would do it) it earned a place in family lore forever.
Fortunately, Mom, I have found a way for you to make things right and redeem yourself as a mother. How often do you get that kind of chance for only $12.99? I know what I want this Christmas.